Pope Saint Pius V has a vision announcing the victory of Lepanto

October 11, 2010

In the afternoon of that same day, the 7th of October, 1571, the Pope was walking about his room, listening to the relation by his treasurer, Mons. Busotti de Bibiana, of various businesses committed to his care; the Pope suffered terribly from stone, and as usually the pain attacked him while seated, he had to receive and to do his business standing up or walking up and down. He stopped suddenly in the middle of the room and put out his head in the attitude of one listening, at the same time making a sign to Busotti to be silent. Then he went to the window, which he threw open wide, leaning out, still silent and in the same listening attitude. Busotti on seeing the face of the old Pontiff suddenly transfigured, his tearful blue eyes turned to heaven with an ineffable expression, and his joined and trembling hands raised; Busotti’s hair stood on end as he understood that something supernatural and divine was happening, and thus he remained for more than three minutes, as the same treasurer afterwards declared on oath.

Pope Saint Pius V has a vision announcing the victory of Lepanto

Painting by Lazzaro Baldi 1673, located in Ghislieri College of Pavia, where Pope St. Pius V had taught theology ---- as altered by nobility.org

Then the Pope shook off his ecstasy, and with a face radiant with joy, said to Busotti, “This is not the time for business. Let us return thanks to God for victory over the Turks.”

And he retired to his oratory, says Busotti, stumbling, and with beautiful lights coming from his forehead. The treasurer hastened to acquaint the prelates and Cardinals with what had happened, and these ordered that at once a record should be made, noting all the circumstances of time and place, and that it should be deposited, sealed up, at a notary’s office. On the 26th of October a messenger from the Doge of Venice, Mocenigo, arrived in Rome, to announce the victory of Lepanto, and three or four days later the Conde de Priego, sent by D. John to give an account of the details of the battle.

Then they made a calculation, allowing for the different meridians of Rome and the Curzolari Isles, and they found that the Pope’s vision announcing the triumph of Lepanto took place exactly when D. John of Austria jumped, sword in hand, from the quarter-deck to drive back the Turks who were invading his galley, and when the “Sultana” was being attacked on the side and at the stern by the Marqués de Santa Cruz and Marco Antonio Colonna. Then they gave much importance to this event, and it afterwards figured with all its proofs and documents in the proceedings of the canonization of Pius V, from which we have taken them.


Rev. Fr. Luis Coloma, The Story of Don John of Austria, trans. Lady Moreton, (New York: John Lane Company, 1912), pp. 272-273.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility no. 15

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